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The Inevitable Best-Of List (Sort Of)

By RD Heldenfels Published: December 31, 2005

I don't usually do a best-of at the end of the year. They're inevitably arbitrary, and I usually end up leaving out something that I really liked -- especially if it aired early in the year. But I do write a list of reasons why TV made me happy this year. While it was scheduled for Sunday's Beacon Journal, it has already popped up on and you can find it here:

Heldenfels Gets Happy Feet.

This year, I had so much TV stuff to write about, I ended up citing 20 things instead of 10, making room for the extra items by keeping a lot of my comments short.  Even so, the list felt unfinished to me. I wish, for instance, I had had a chance to look more closely at some of the newer TV technology, to see if it merited inclusion. And there were shows that, while I liked what I saw, I didn't stick with as loyally as I did the shows in the list. ''Viva Blackpool,'' ''Slings and Arrows'' and ''Over There'' were shows that went into my see-more pile -- only I didn't get around to seeing them.

And just sticking to programming I watched, the list was a work in progress right up to the point when I left for vacation. While on break, I considered going into the office to make at least one more change. (I think it was to add ''Entourage,'' since I didn't miss an episode, although I don't know what I would have removed from the list to make room.)

I also thought about throwing in a list of disappointments, but I was so overloaded with good things that I didn't see a great need to be a bummer. People who watch TV with any regularity find plenty of reasons to be unhappy without my reminding them.

It's better, I think, to reflect on all the good stuff we have had this year, and not only the things on my list. Other critics, and other viewers, undoubtedly have their own favorites. I hope you had plenty, too.

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